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New exhibit “The Secret Paintings” comes to Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery

By Thaddaeus Watkins | Staff Writer
On January 16, 2018

Students gathering around “Endless War,” a two-panel oil on canvas diptych that
depicts a struggle between the male and female principles.
| Photo credit: Thaddaeus Watkins

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University students occupied both levels of the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery Thursday as they witnessed the nationally acclaimed exhibit of figurative oil paintings by artist Michael Pearce.

Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery publicized its newest exhibit, “The Secret Paintings” during an opening reception debut.

Michael Pearce is best known for his oil paintings and leadership across the globe. His practice and dedication to art resulted in his work being internationally recognized. Pearce teaches painting and drawing at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. Pearce did not attend the event and has no ties to FAMU.

FAMU Professor Nan Liu says he is a huge fan of Pearce and his work. Liu recalled meeting Pearce in California at a leadership conference, The Representational Art Conference.

 “I met Pearce when I attended his conference,” said Liu. “That was a moment I will never forget.”  

The mission of the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery embraces enriching and engaging art exhibitions and public programming to the FAMU and Tallahassee communities. By remaining focused on the mission, FAMU students and the community are provided with countless opportunities to engage in an experience they will not forget.

FAMU alumna and frequent visitor of the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery, Catiana Foster, enjoys visiting art galleries and museums that promote individualism. Foster said, “As a current employee of a museum, I am aware of the importance of sharing historical facts and history regarding exhibits and individuals within the community.”

With efforts to increase viewership of “The Secret Paintings” and other promoted exhibits, FAMU students and the Tallahassee community are encouraged to visit the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery to obtain cultural knowledge amongst various backgrounds.

“I always do all that I can to support the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery and other local galleries,” said Foster. “Any opportunities that arise, enabling me to view artwork and grasp both conceptual and perceptual knowledge, will always be a yes response.”

Oil on canvas artworks of Michael Pearce’s Secret Paintings. From left to right,
Lady in Red, Justice and Star. | Photo credit: Thaddaeus Watkins

Pearce’s “The Secret Paintings” will be featured until Friday, Feb. 2.

Second-year architecture student, Tre’Mon Collins, plans to visit the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery throughout its showcase period. “Although I don’t usually visit the Gallery, it is important to learn and obtain as much knowledge as possible,” said Collins.

Collins is excited about viewing the newest exhibit and supports the notion of sharing the information on to his fellow Rattler family. “As a current student at FAMU, there are many different avenues and resources that students should utilize and take advantage of. Visiting a free art gallery, on campus, and providing a donation is a prime example,” said Collins.

“Black Hole Sole,” “Endless War,” “Hanged Man,” “Lady in Red,” “Temperance” and “The Tower” are a few of many oil collections by Pearce that can be viewed. Pearce pays homage to a Romantic vision portrayed in “Lady in Red.”  She represents the tarot’s queen of cups and simultaneously evokes the demoiselle of devotion who is the obsession of the chivalrous idealist. The background illustrates scenes from the tale of Lancelot.

Guided tours are available by appointment and the exhibit is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted from all visitors.  

For more information, contact the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery at

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